Apple is developing a digital fitness system for iPhone and iPod touch to encourage and promote healthier lifestyles, joining the ranks of other keep fit tech recently released such as Nintendo’s Wii Fit, Nike + and Samsung/Adidas’ miCoach, according to AppleInsider.

A number of patent filings have been unearthed which show that the system is far more wide-ranging than a mere exercise device (such as Nike + system) and is described as a "lifestyle companion system”.

"The lifestyle companion system also can interview the user about non-health related topics, e.g., spirituality, religion, identity (e.g., sense of belonging), relationships, career, financial condition, environment, hobbies, interests, other personal information, and goals regarding the same," according to the slightly sinister sounding patent.

Tell me about your mother

It continues: "An identity (sense of belonging) interview may address, for example, the organizations to which the user belongs socially and/or professionally. A relationships interview can address, for example, the marital and/or familial status of the user. The relationship interview also can address the quality of the user's relationships with his/her family

“A career interview can address, for example, the length of time the user has worked in the present job, the user's current occupational position, and/or the user's level of enjoyment of the user's occupation. A finance interview can address, for example, net wealth, credit situation, spending habits, etc. An environment interview can address, for example, the user's home, office, clothing, transportation, fitness memberships, access to exercise equipment, etc.

The software will then create a tailored workout plan based on the above interviews with the user.

iPhone sensors

Apple’s patent also refers to a number of hardware ‘add-ons’ and suggest that future iterations of iPhones and iPod touch's would might include built-in sensors.

"In one embodiment, the present invention can include a headset having integrated physiological sensors. The present invention also can include a sling having one or more integrated physiological sensors. The sling can secure a portable electronic device to a user's body or clothing," according to the patent.

"The present invention also can include a portable media device having one or more integrated physiological sensors. In one embodiment, an electronic device of the present invention can accept data from multiple sensors, including one or more sensors that track a user's movements. The electronic device can be configured to condition data from physiological sensors using data indicative of the user's movements.